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Classifieds are no longer available. Forums threatened.
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windfind



Joined: 18 Mar 1997
Posts: 1816

PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2022 12:18 pm    Post subject: Classifieds are no longer available. Forums threatened. Reply with quote

Hi Gang,

Sorry to announce that we have shut down our Classified Section.

For years there has been no practical way we can insure that crooks are not cheating our customers using our Classifieds and the problem is worsening.

Ideally, everyone would verify all the details about a prospective buyer but it is clear that most of our customers are trusting of other "windsurfers" and get burned.

Recently this situation has become worse as spammers join IW. or IK then place plausible sounding forum posts commenting with a post or providing "helpful" information.

It is obvious these spammers are trying to establish a forum history so they seem like a trustworthy west coast windsurfer or kiteboarder whom our customers are more likely to trust in a classified transaction.

We are working on a forum solution but in the meantime, you can recognize spammers since their date of joining is just a few days old.

Please don't respond to them since that just doubles our time deleting messages.

Very very few of our customers use the forums but we know the forums are important to those customers and we don't want to also close down the forums because of these spammers.

Lastly, please refrain from attacking your fellow windsurfers and kiters in the forum. Deleting those posts just adds to our work on a service that brings in no income. Plus several of our most colorful posters are getting very close to the threshold of being banned from the forums for attacks and we would hate to lose them.

Thanks,

Mike Godsey
Weatherflow



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ctuna



Joined: 27 Jun 1995
Posts: 1090
Location: Santa Cruz Ca

PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2022 2:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So it's Ok to report these posts to weatherflow support as I have been doing?
I have a feeling they are getting irritated with me because I have been doing this.
Haven't been responding to them in the Forum except maybe the first few times.
Is there a way to flag this stuff when you see it more efficiently.
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windfind



Joined: 18 Mar 1997
Posts: 1816

PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2022 3:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi ctuna,

The small part of Weatherflow that is iW and iK has to focus time and money to things that bring in income. The forums bring in none. And our support staff are swamped and since they don't know the handles of everyone on the forums it is difficult for them to weed out the new type of spams that look legitimate. Like the one today that offered advice on repairing kites.

Checking the forum postings for spam is not remotely my job but I have volunteered to do it since I love the forums as a way of keeping in contact with our customers.

Currently, I am removing about 3 spam a day from the forums. But I can not check it all day. So cc. me the message you send to support via our messages tool and I will try to weed more.

Mike
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ctuna



Joined: 27 Jun 1995
Posts: 1090
Location: Santa Cruz Ca

PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2022 7:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Mike
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csorens



Joined: 04 Jul 1999
Posts: 47

PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2022 9:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mike, thanks to you and iwindsurf for recognizing this and taking action on this. We would all love to have a safe and secure way to conduct transactions in the Classifieds, and I hope iwindsurf can find a a way to protect us from scams in the future!
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wndsrfrmn



Joined: 30 Jun 2001
Posts: 36

PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2022 12:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

windfind wrote:
Hi ctuna,


Checking the forum postings for spam is not remotely my job but I have volunteered to do it since I love the forums as a way of keeping in contact with our customers.

Currently, I am removing about 3 spam a day from the forums. But I can not check it all day. So cc. me the message you send to support via our messages tool and I will try to weed more.

Mike


These forums are important for local access information. There are some very dedicated users Who use these forums to update info and organize support about local launches and the politics behind them.

I suggest that you ask for a couple long time, trusted, users to volunteer as forum admins. You can give them the right to delete spam and inappropriate posts. This is how other sites deal with similar issues.

I don't windsurf much anymore but I still use this site to get information before and during my sailboat trips. It is nice to have real time information about what the wind is doing around me.

Thanks for the service.
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windfind



Joined: 18 Mar 1997
Posts: 1816

PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2022 12:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi wndsrfmn,

Your idea is exactly what we have been doing from the beginning of iwindsurf.com.

The problem is that it is very boring and tedious work to comb through all the forums for the USA for IW. and IK. This is especially true with the recent type of spam forum posts that look very much like real posts.

So every volunteer gradually stops deleting spam and the number of fake posts goes up. We have also tried to have paid support staff do this work but it is not cost-effective to pay an employee to do boring work on a service that brings in zero income.

So right now I am doing the deleting. We may have an IT solution soon but the this is really a waste of valuable IT time.

Mike Godsey
Weatherflow
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ctuna



Joined: 27 Jun 1995
Posts: 1090
Location: Santa Cruz Ca

PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2022 12:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If there was an easy way for trusted users to tag the posts
and send up and alert it might help .
I thought there was something like this a one time but maybe
I am wrong.
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cbknap



Joined: 03 Jun 1997
Posts: 367

PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2022 10:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why not restrict posting to paid members only?
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windfind



Joined: 18 Mar 1997
Posts: 1816

PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2022 11:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

cbknap wrote:
Why not restrict posting to paid members only?


Hi Chris,

Good to hear from you!

The issue is that worldwide we have many hundreds of thousands of "free" members that use Datascope, windalert, sailflow, fishweather, ikitesurf, iwindsurf, tempestwx, etc.

These customers use our Public Doman sensors, model forecasts and multitude of tools for everything from tracking tuna schools to hazmat operations to military ops.

This usage creates ad exposure which brings in revenue that helps pay our bills and keeps your monthly bill so low. So blocking all those customers worldwide to remove spammers from the IW and IK forums does not make fiscal sense.

We are still working an IT solution that should cut down the spam level.

Mike Godsey



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